Room 516 | the bubble

In this work Room 516 and Kolonaki* are presented as bubbles that protect and expose; whose limits are fragile; and that can host, in various temporalities and moralities, a diversity of subjects, yet of a specific class and economic or professional background and social status. This installation functions within this context as a self-reflective-(self)-critique that seeks to problematise the concept of the exhibition and the artists' position, within the precise historical and political moment.    
Artist's note: "An installation conceived for Room 516 and the context of the annual exhibition Rooms organised in St. George Lycabettus Hotel by Kappatos Gallery. My project had the form of a work in progress and was developed during three weeks -including the opening week. Before being permitted to enter the room, I conducted a form of fieldwork around the neighbourhood through visual observation, documentation and at times interaction with people and animals, by means of my camera. One week before the opening I was allowed to enter the room 516 and use it as a workspace but not as accommodation. I carried inside the room all things, notes, and images I had collected. I invented and enacted five personae, whom I introduced as hotel residents. I recorded my disguises, as well as my stay in room 516, against all rules." 
Curator's note: "Collective memory, the reflection of the city and public boundaries inhabit the constructed space and the objects that witness the presence or the trace of an occupation. The marks left behind, after intervening space, the resignification of images left behind after the process - performance of residence, witness the affective stimulation and the conflictual situation, caused by the dialectics with the urban space, on a ritual level. Dimitra Kondylatou combines personal material with subjective 'movement' throughout the space and investigates the processes that link the individual's memory to everyday practice. She explores the boundaries of art and everyday life, the relationship between 'inside' and 'outside', human and animal. She redefines the signs of 'constructed' reality and civilisation, 'nature' and instincts and she is interested in the interaction and the restrictions set amongst them, as well as in control, as an outcome of these relations. She activates the personal meaning of time and space and the spatial perception, based on the process of recording and presence. In each development of a plot or a narrative, there is an automatic 'simulation perspective', defined by the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, as being part of a scenario of imaginary reality, an observatory of a private moment, a simulacrum of empirical simulation. Performance and its traces, act against a dimension of industrialised society and the architectural order imposed by power. The objects acquire the form of an experiential illusion and maintain their fictional dimensions as a means for a scenario that might not end with a recording. Given the conditions, there will be a constant development and continuation in the approach and interpretation of spatiality and the subject. Influenced by women artists such as Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine and Janine Antony, the artist recomposes the relationship between the subject, its body and the production of public space. Today, the metropolitan space, the constantly transforming reality and its perception -due to spatial compromises and the distortion of natural and urban landscape - triggers a self-critical improvisation. Kondylatou performs functional actions, in order to re-define the given social dimension of space and by extension the relationships that emerge through the frictions with the outside and the other. According to the Americal philosopher Edward S. Cassey, place is the social construction of identity and records the trajectory and the history of body. In Kondylatou's work, it is apparent that memory is inherent to the notion of time, space and geographical location. Every object becomes a signal for something else, for an affair, a memory that could be of importance, but in a way remains apparently fleeting to fit the construction of a cohesive narrative of the fragments of personal or collective memory. The urban space becomes personal." (M. Kataga)
*one of the most posh neighbourhoods in central Athens. The area were the hotel was located.

Room 516 | the bubble | in-situ video installation, videos, prints, photos, 2013
Presentation: Rooms 2013, St. George Lycabettus Hotel & Kappatos Gallery, Athens 2013